New research has revealed that a third of business travellers in the UK are travelling less due to fluctuations in the value of the pound caused by Brexit uncertainty.
A survey of 2,000 business travellers in the UK, Germany, France and Spain by long-term accommodation booking platform Homelike also found Brits are not the only ones impacted by Brexit – many French and Spanish companies said they had stopped travelling for business altogether.
Furthermore, British companies appear to be preparing for a slow-down in European relations, with fewer employees travelling to the continent than before Brexit was announced. Germans are still travelling frequently, but 65 per cent said they have stopped travelling to the UK altogether.
However, the study revealed the extent to which business travel contributes to local economies, with European travellers spending an estimated £91.45 billion per year in shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and gyms. Brits tend to spend the least at £356 per person per week on average, while the French splash out £561 per week during business trips.
More general findings include the fact that 49 per cent of Europeans prefer to travel for longer periods in one location on business trips. This is because they find long-term stays less stressful than making more frequent or shorter trips (nearly 26 per cent) and they like to be able to get more work done with less journey time (nearly 23 per cent). Almost 20 per cent said they enjoy making the destination ‘feel like home’ by staying longer.
British business travellers are the most likely to have stayed in a destination for more than six months, mostly because they believe it is better for the environment. However, UK employees reported they prefer to travel via car (32.6 per cent) or train (21.2 per cent), suggesting they favour more domestic trips.
Commenting on the State of Long-Term European Business Travel survey results, Homelike CEO and co-founder Dustin Figge said: “Business travel is a massive industry, worth US$1.3 trillion globally in 2017 and predicted to grow by US$1.7 trillion by 2023. We conducted this research in four of Homelike’s key markets and the most important findings in my eyes confirm the hugely positive impact that business travellers have on local economies around the world, especially if they stay long term and make themselves a ‘home away from home’.”
Download a full copy of the report here